Australia has recorded its highest fiscal year lamb kill figure in more than forty years, Meat and Livestock Australia reported today.
MLA said Australian lamb slaughter for 2013-14 was the highest since 1971-72 (22.1 million head), at 21.9 million head — up four percent on the previous 12 months — with lamb meat production also lifting four percent to 474,267 tonnes.
Mutton slaughter tops 10 million, highest in five years
The nation has also recorded its highest fiscal year mutton slaughter in five years, to 10.1 million head – up 23pc — and the highest fiscal year total since 2008-09.
Mutton production for 2013-14 increased 24pc on the previous 12 months to 227,891 tonnes.
Lamb kill up in all states except South Australia
MLA said lamb turnoff has been unseasonably high in New South Wales ion the past 12 months due to water resource concerns with the state’s slaughter total up two percent to 4.9 million head.
A mild 2013 winter in Victoria and South Australia assisted lamb survival and marking rates in spring, helping supply. Lamb slaughter in Victoria totalled 9.6 million head in 2013-14, up one percent, while in South Australia’s kill number declined two percent to 3.6 million head, MLA said.
In Western Australia, lamb slaughter for the 12 months to June, reached 2.4 million head – up 25pc — as a very dry summer put water resources under pressure, although conditions improved with the autumn break.
Ewe flock reduction fuels mutton kill increase
MLA said national sheep slaughter levels have remained consistently high over the past 12 months, with many producers actively reducing older ewe flocks which had been retained in previous wet years.
All states, except Tasmania, registered higher sheep slaughter figures during 2013-14. Hot and dry conditions over summer, particularly in NSW, stimulated high sheep turnoff and also had a considerable impact on joining rates, MLA said.
Sheep kill numbers in Victoria lifted 33pc to 3.6 million head, were up 18pc in New South Wales to 2.5 million head and increased 30pc in South Australia to 1.6 million head. In Western Australia, sheep slaughter in 2013-14 lifted 9pc to 1.6 million head.